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Adur District residents: The Council Tax service for Adur District Council is provided by the CenSus Partnership Website, please refer to the CenSus website's Discounts and Exemptions information for full details.
Worthing Borough residents: please refer to the information below

Council Tax discounts and exemptions

See also:

What is a discount?

There are various discounts that can reduce the Council Tax you have to pay and are separate from Council Tax Support (previously known as Council Tax Benefit).

The Council Tax charge is based on two or more adults living in the property. If you have been awarded a reduction it will be shown on your bill. If there is any change in your circumstances that could affect your entitlement to a discount or exemption, you must tell us about it immediately to avoid a backdated charge and possible fine.

See also: Council Tax Support (Council Tax Benefit)

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Second / Holiday Homes

If you are leaving your property empty but furnished the previous discount of 10% ends on 31st March 2013.

For full details please see the Empty Properties page.

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Single Person Discount

If you are the only person aged 18 or over living in your home, you are entitled to a 25% discount off your Council Tax bill.

To apply for the single person discount please download an application form.

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Council Tax Discount / Disregards

You will not normally be able to claim a Council Tax discount if two or more adults (18 and over) live in your home. However, certain people are not counted; they are disregarded when we work out how many people live in a property.

Some of the classifications can be discount disregard or an exemption for example if two adults live in a property and one is a student and they meet the criteria then the student will be disregarded and a 25% discount given whilst they remain a student. However if both meet the criteria as full time students then the property is exempt from Council Tax.

Examples of people disregarded from Council Tax are:

18 or 19 year-olds who are at, or have just left school/college after 1st April, do not have to pay Council Tax until 1st November of the same year. We will require evidence of child benefit entitlement when applying for this discount. No form required, please contact us to apply

Students and trainees do not have to pay Council Tax if they are:

  • Enrolled to undertake a course of further or higher education at a prescribed educational establishment situated in a member state
  • Undertaking a course that is of at least 24 weeks in each academic or calendar year (as the case may be) during which it subsists, and
  • Which taken together amount in each such academic or calendar year to an average of at least 21 hours a week
  • A certificate confirming the student's status will need to be obtained from the college or university 
  • Correspondence courses, evening classes or courses taken in connection with a job are not included

Student nurses do not have to pay Council Tax if they are studying towards becoming a registered nurse, midwife or health visitor

Apprentices who are employed to learn a job and as part of that learning undertake a qualification recognised by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications. They must be paid no more than £195 per week before tax and expect to earn substantially more when they qualify

Trainees aged under 25 undertaking a course through an approved scheme under the Employment & Training Act 1973

People suffering severe mental impairment: Certain qualifying criteria must be met in relation to the person who is severely mentally impaired, and a certificate will need to be provided by a registered medical practitioner stating that the person concerned has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning that appears to be permanent. They must also be in receipt of one of the following state benefits:

  • Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • The care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) paid either at the highest rate or at the middle rate; or the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) under s78(3) Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • An increase in the rate of a disablement pension
  • Constant Attendance Allowance in respect of some pensions
  • Income Support that includes a disability premium

Patients resident in a hospital or care home: People who are resident in a hospital or care home do not have to pay Council Tax provided they are receiving care and the hospital or care home is their sole or main residence

Carers must be:

  • Working for 24 hours or more each week; and
  • Earning less than £44 each week; and
  • Employed through a connection with the Crown, a charity or local authority; and
  • Resident at the property where they provide the care (or at a an alternative property that has been provided in order to carry out their duties)
  • There is no requirement for the person being cared for to be in receipt of a State Benefit.

Resident care workers must be:

  • Providing care for at least 35 hours each week; and
  • Are not a disqualified relative (e.g. a spouse, partner or parent of a disabled child).
  • In addition, the carer in this category must be providing care for a person who is entitled to one of the following State Benefits:
    • High rate Attendance Allowance
    • High rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
    • An increased rate of Disablement Pension
    • An increased rate of Constant Attendance Allowance

Members of religious communities do not have to pay Council Tax provided they do not have a personal income or capital. Such people are defined as being someone whose main work is prayer, contemplation, the relief of suffering, education or any combination of these.

Members of international headquarters, defence organisations and Visiting forces to the UK

People who are detained by order of a court whether in prison, a hospital or any other do not have to pay Council Tax (apart from those detained due to non-payment of Council Tax or a fine).

People staying in hostels or night shelters. Anyone who is resident in accommodation for the homeless is does not have to pay Council Tax provided that it is not made up of self-contained units and is used essentially for people of no fixed abode.

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Reductions for annexes

From 1 April 2014 annexes that are:

  • Used by the occupier of the main house as part of their main home;
  • Occupied by a relative of the person living in the main house

will be entitled to a 50% reduction in the Council Tax payable on the annexe. The 50% reduction is in addition to any other discount that is awarded so for example if your adult son is living in the annexe on his own he will be liable for Council Tax and will be entitled to a 25% Single Person Discount and a 50% annexe reduction.

The criteria for the reduction are that the annexe must:

  • Form part of a single property that includes at least one other property i.e. the annexe must be within the grounds of the main house (although not necessarily attached); and
  • Be included in the title deeds of the main house and not registered separately; and
  • Be being:
    • Used by the resident of the main house as part of their main home;
    • Lived in by a relative of the person who lives in the main house (a relative is defined as a partner, parent, child, step-child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece and also includes great and great-great grandparents & grandchildren)

The new annex reduction is in addition to the existing Class W Exemption.

Please note that as a signature is required you can't currently apply for this discounts online.

If you think you qualify for a reduction, please download and complete an application form:

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Apply for a discount

Please note that as a signature is required (and some copies of evidence need to be attached) you can't currently apply for these discounts online.

To apply for a student discount please download an application form:

To apply for an apprentice discount please download an application form:

To apply for any other discount please download an application form:

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What is an Exemption?

A property will be exempt from Council Tax in certain circumstances, usually if it is unoccupied, but also in some cases where all the occupiers are disregarded. Properties that qualify for an exemption fall into one or other of the following classes, shown below. If you think that your property falls into any of these classes please contact us, you may need to provide us with evidence before we grant the exemption.

From 31st March 2013 the class A and class C exemptions have been abolished. They have been replaced by locally set discounts. For full details please see the Empty Properties page.

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Exemption Classes

Council Tax is not charged on certain properties - 'exempt properties'. The classes of property exempt from Council Tax are shown below:

Exemption Classes
Class B

Empty properties owned by a registered charity, for a maximum of six months.

Exemption lasts for six months. In order to be assessed for this exemption you will need to satisfy three parts.

  1. The property must be owned by a registered charity
  2. The body must be 'established for charitable purposes'.
  3. When the property was last occupied it must have been occupied 'in furtherance of the objects of the charity'.
Class D An unoccupied property owned by someone now in prison or otherwise legally detained.
Class E Unoccupied properties, which were previously occupied by someone who is now living in a hospital, residential, care home, nursing home or hostel and s/he owns the property or retains the tenancy for the property.
Class F You will be exempt from Council Tax if a property is unoccupied following the death of the owner/tenant, and the executors are awaiting probate or letters of administration to be granted.

The exemption ends six months after probate or letters of administration have been granted.

Class G Empty properties where the law prevents anyone from living there.
Class H Empty properties held vacant awaiting for occupation by a Minister of Religion.
Class I Unoccupied properties which were lived in by people who are now receiving personal care in a place other than a hospital or home.
Class J Unoccupied properties which were lived in by people who are now living elsewhere for the purpose of providing personal care to another person.
Class K Unoccupied properties which were lived in by students or people who will become students within six weeks of leaving the property.
Class L Empty properties which have been repossessed.
Class M A property that is a student halls of residence.
Class N

Properties occupied only by full-time students (and their spouses or dependants who are not EU Citizens). This exemption also applies between 1 May and 31 October or school or college leavers who have recently left their place of study;

A person is disregarded if they are:

  • the spouse or dependant of a student within the meaning of paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act; and
  • not a British citizen and who is prevented, by the terms of his leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits/support.
Class O You live in armed forces barracks and married quarters.
Class P You are a member of a visiting force from a country to the UK which the Visiting Forces Act 1952 applies or a member of a civilian component of the force.
Class Q Empty properties left by someone who has become bankrupt.
Class R Empty caravan pitches or boat moorings.
Class S Properties where all occupants who live in the property are under the age of 18.
Class T You have unoccupied accommodation that is part of another occupied property, and it cannot be let separately without breaking planning control requirements (e.g. an empty granny annexe).
Class U Your property is solely occupied by people who are severely mentally impaired, who would otherwise be liable.
Class V Properties which is the main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity.
Class W An annex (which is separately banded) that forms part of the main accommodation consisting of a single property with two or more dwellings, where the annex is occupied by a dependent relative of the resident of the main dwelling. A dependent relative is someone aged 65 or over, severely mentally impaired or substantially and permanently disabled. This exemption may apply to occupied granny annexes.

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Apply for an exemption

Please note that as a signature is required you can't currently apply for this exemption online.

To apply for a exemption please download an application form:

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Disabled reduction scheme

Your Council Tax liability may be reduced by one valuation band (or 1/9th of band D if the property is already in band A) providing your home has certain features that are essential, or of major importance, to the well-being of someone who is disabled and resident in the dwelling. The disabled person can be an adult or a child.

The 'essential features' are:

  • A room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) that is predominantly used by the disabled person in order to meet their needs;
  • An additional bathroom or kitchen for the use of the disabled person;
  • Extra space to allow for the use of a wheelchair in the property

Please note that as a signature is required you can't currently apply for this reduction online.

To apply for the Disabled reduction scheme please download an application form:

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Changes you must tell us about

There are changes you must tell us about which may affect your discount or exemption, failure to do so may lead to a fine, for further details please see Moving and tell us about a change.

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